The IStructE’s Pai Lin Li Travel Award offers young structural engineers the opportunity to spend four to six weeks outside their own country, studying current structural engineering practice or trends related to the use of any innovative materials or construction techniques. This year, one of the awards was given to Ian Hamilton to undertaken research into ‘Green Building in Sri Lanka: Understanding the Challenge of Embodied Energy in Tropical Buildings’.
Ian is passionate about socially responsible engineering and in his early career focused on using his knowledge and expertise to help communities in the developing world who needed better sanitation and water supply or support following natural disasters. When the opportunity arose to enter a proposal for the IStructE Educational Trust’s Pai Lin Li Travel Award, Ian knew the topic he wanted to research having had numerous conversations with his Sri Lankan friends and colleagues, and knowing of some of the achievements and innovations in sustainable construction in the Sri Lankan building sector.
The award allowed Ian to travelled to Sri Lanka and undertake a series of project visits and interviews with industry professionals, where he learned more about how the industry was working hard to promote sustainability in engineering and architecture. Sri Lanka has a growing interest in sustainability and green building issues but much of the current guidance for sustainable building design is focussed on European and US markets.
Ian said of the award “The Pai Lin Li Travel Award has been an excellent opportunity to develop my knowledge of sustainability issues, and apply it to a new context.
The prize was a great chance to travel abroad and investigate the challenges that industry professionals face when delivering sustainable buildings in such a different economic, geographic and social context. It was a fascinating trip, and a unique opportunity to broaden my horizons about world engineering practise.”
Rachel Sandbrook, Associate Director at Engenuiti said, “Ian’s choice of topic – sustainability in tropical climates – has real relevance in the context of an increasingly global construction industry and given the growing recognition of the importance of sustainability in building design and construction. We believe that the strength of our Practice lies in the eclectic breadth of our engineers’ skills and passions. In this case, Ian has demonstrated his passion for sustainability and in doing so, has produced some really intelligent and original research.”